Minor "Butch" W. Kates Sr., 71, of Wimington passed away at home in the care of his loving wife and family Saturday, July 27, 2013. Butch was born to the late Paul R. Sr. and Gertrude H. Umberger Kates in Upland, Pa., and raised in Linwood, Pa.
He resided for the past 10 years in Wilmington, previously residing in Lewes for seven years as well as Boothwyn, Pa. He graduated from Chichester High School, class of 1959. After graduation, he was hired by Sun Oil Co. to work aboard its oil tankers. He worked his way up the ranks from wiper to chief engineer. Butch was 31 years old when he received his chief's license, making him the youngest chief in the Sun Oil fleet of ships. Sun Oil changed its shipping department to Sun Transport and in 1997, after Butch had worked for the company for 38 years, the ships were sold.
Butch was proud of his profession and loved his job, but he missed being with his family. He continued his career working on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry until his retirement in 2003. Butch enjoyed boating, fishing and reading. He was an avid Eagles fan and was a member of Concord Masonic Lodge 625 F&AM, Del Vet Post #1 and the Sun Honor Club. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Robert Roux.
Butch is survived by his wife of 51 years, Judy Vence Kates, children, Minor "Butch" Jr. (Denise) Kates, Denise Kates Sivick and Kelly (Darren) Alles; two siblings, Paul Jr. (Beverly) and Alberta Roux; and five grandchildren, Justin and Summer Kates, Joe and Jordan Sivick and Annelie Alles.
Funeral service will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 31, at the Pagano Funeral Home, 3711 Foulk Road, Garnet Valley, Pa., where friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday and from 9 to 10 a.m., Wednesday. Interment will be in Lawn Croft Cemetery, Linwood, Pa. Donations may be made in his memory to the National Parkinson Foundation at www.parkinson.org/plannedgiving.